|Developer The Peel Group|
|Similar Great Float, Ocean Gateway, Conway Park railway st, Prince's Dock - Liverpool, Wirral Peninsula|
Wirral waters oct 2010
Wirral Waters is a large scale £4.5bn development that has been proposed by the Peel Group for Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula, England. It is the sister programme of the Liverpool Waters project. Since 2012 the two projects have enjoyed enterprise zone status, together forming the Mersey Waters Enterprise Zone.
Wirral waters overview
To regenerate a largely unused series of dock spaces in the area, the main part of the plan may eventually see the creation of 5,000,000 square feet (465,000 m2) of modern office space at the East Float and Vittoria Dock. This is alongside a waterfront hotel bars, restaurants, other leisure facilities & 15,000 apartments which would be housed in a series of tall, modern towers. Three of these towers are designed to achieve fifty storeys.
A dedicated development is also proposed at the site of the former Bidston Dock, close to the M53 motorway and the Kingsway road tunnel to Liverpool. This will encompass an additional 571,000 square feet (53,000 m2) of retail and leisure facilities.
The architectural practice Broadway Malyan have been employed by Peel, and are responsible for the overall design of the development. Broadway Malyan are also responsible for the design of the redevelopment of Mann Island, across the River Mersey, in Liverpool.
If achieved, the plan will increase dramatically the amount of business space available in the wider conurbation. Addressing an imbalance that has seen the area develop 5,000,000 square feet (465,000 m2) less office space than other urban centres of a similar profile. It is estimated by the developers that the scheme may lead to the creation of over 27,000 permanent jobs.
Peel purchased the Cammell Laird shipyard, in January 2007, to facilitate the development.
The scheme was revealed to the public in September 2006, after 18 months of design, whilst at a consultative stage. Peel stated that the project may take up to 30 years, before it is fully realised, meaning the development may not be completed until the year 2041. Local councillors welcomed the proposals.
The developers intended to submit proposals to the Wirral Council by Christmas 2008. This did not happen and on 2 November 2009, the developers stated they would post the application soon. However, they threatened to pull out of the scheme if the Government called a public inquiry into it.
On 3 August 2010, the Wirral Waters Scheme was given full approval by Wirral Council's Planning Committee. This would lead to one of the UK's biggest developments over the next decade.
On 29 November 2010 the project cleared the final planning hurdle after being given full Government approval.
On 6 January 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron together with Lord Heseltine met with members of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council who were given a presentation of the scheme, followed by a tour of the site.
The West Float Land Remediation Project was eligible to start on 27 June 2011, with a completion date of 31 March 2014. This project was part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, with a project value of £1.506m for the ERDF and a broader value of £3m, recovering 12 hectares (30 acres) of redundant and contaminated dockland. The site is intended for the Peel International Trade Centre. Planning permission was granted for an International Trade Centre, within the Birkenhead dockland, in September 2011.
A plan was announced in February 2013, intending to redevelop part of the abandoned Birkenhead Dock Branch route, to run a streetcar system. The plan involves connecting Wirral Waters to the Merseyrail network at Birkenhead North and Hamilton Square stations, utilising the stretch of dock branch trackbed along Beaufort Road and Corporation Road, with inner and outer loops around Vittoria Dock and East Float, respectively. Options to connect this new system to Conway Park and Birkenhead Park stations are also available, along with a further extension for the Wirral Tramway to Seacombe ferry terminal.
In April 2014, Wirral Metropolitan College announced plans for a new campus. The campus is intended for the development of skills needed for realising the Wirral Waters project. Plans were submitted for a 60,000 square feet (5,600 m2) office building at Tower Wharf, in May 2014. As of May 2015, these buildings are under construction, adjacent to Tower Road.
In March 2015, Morgan Sindall were awarded a contract to build a £35m manufacturing facility, for large components to be used in the energy sector, on Beaufort Road, alongside West Float.
In June 2015, Peel announced it was pulling out of its JV with proposed Chinese partner Sam Wa for the development of the cornerstone International Trade Centre.
At a meeting of Liverpool City Region Combined Authority in Feb 2016 Wirral Metropolitan College was granted an expression of interest for the building of Health Campus at their existing site in Wirral Waters. The campus will be used for nurse training and other vocational skills for NHS workers.
It was announced in November 2016 that Wirral Waters had been made one of six new 'Housing Zones' and could apply for a share of £18 million of government funding designed to speed up the construction of large scale housing developments.